When we jumped in to do Classical Conversations, I honestly knew very little about it other than the stereotype: pictures of cute little homeschool rooms with timeline cards and memory work posted on the wall. I guess you could say the reputation preceded itself… and, most importantly, I fully trusted the recommendations of my friends who had used it. I knew there must be a reason they had believed in the program.
Making a change to homeschooling, or even thinking about it, was one of the hardest decisions ever. One of the most difficult choices! If you missed my first post about our Classical Conversations reasons, please go back and start there.
5) Public Speaking Fears Vanish
Every week the kids stand up in front of their peers and talk for a couple of minutes. Given that many adults list public speeaking as their major fear, how amazing is it that we start working on this from a young age? The littles often need mom to stand next to them and whisper each sentence into their ear. However, in a couple of years, these are the same kids who stand up in fourth grade and recite their memorized paper in front of a full auditorium. Public speaking is an amazing skill that most homeschooled kids (and public schooled kids) don’t have the opportunity to practice.
This not only allows them to practice speaking, but they get to know each other. They share favorite books, trips they take, family news, and even sometimes bring furry pets. Presentation time allows them to flex their speaking muscles and grow in so many ways.
4) Essentials is Awesome
This was my fifth year leading the Essentials class as the tutor. I’ve always said that, if I had to, Foundations would be abandoned before Essentials – it’s a great stand-alone program with so much goodness. Even if you have never touched grammar at home (future post), it’s completely do-able through this two hour class. Your kid will learn an amazing amount about the English language at his own pace for three years, work on writing great papers, and put his presentation skills to work presenting those papers. You and your kid are more ready than you think for Essentials!
3) One Day a Week
That’s it. For one morning a week (and afternoon if you do Essentials), your kid is introduced to their new memory work for the week. One day a week you put on “real clothes” and sit in a classroom like “real students” and get out of the door on time like “real parents”. The rest of the week it is yours to do with.
Even if you completely think memory work is a waste of time, your kids are being exposed to all kinds of good things, and you didn’t have to prepare all your own time to do it. There is plenty of time those other six days of the week to be committed to sports or music or travel or following your own little rabbit trails.
With CC, the parent is the official teacher which means I make the ultimate schedule. If i decide it’s most important to travel with the kids by myself to see Grandma out of state, that’s my call. No penalty. If I decide that my kid isn’t going to write a paper all month, that’s my right to do so. I have the ultimate freedom to make my schedule work for what my family needs.
2) It’s a National Program
As a newbie homeschooler, it’s hard to be different. So hard. For me, going with a well-respected, time-tested, homeschool methodology just made sense and helped with the transition from traditional schooling.
Since we started this homeschool journey, Classical Conversations has been our baseline curriculum now for eight years. We began in Texas and jumped right into a new community when we moved here to Georgia four years ago. As a world-wide curriculum, it’s consistent no matter where you are, and you can automatically fit right in with a new community wherever you land. Each group follows the same schedule, the years follow the same pattern, and the days are filled similarly.
Grandma has questions? Point her to the website. Dad is second guessing if it will work? Hop on Facebook and read all the success stories. You’re a military family who will be leaving the area next year? Find one of the other 2,500 communities in the US or even one of the 43 countries all over the world.
As homeschooling has become a more popular education option, the number of students enrolled world-wide in Classical Conversations has sky rocketed to more than 125,000 students since it started 25 years ago. There has to be reason for its popularity right?
1) But the Top Reason? Jesus!
Classical Conversation is a Christian curriculum and co-op which uses all the subjects to point back to Jesus. Because of that, the families you will meet are professing Christians with whom you and your children will automatically have so much in common. My kids have grown just as much in their Christian faith as they have through the more traditional subjects through their amazing tutors who lead them in prayer, scripture memorization as a group, and the interactions with God-loving families. While we can’t shelter our kids completely, we can surround them with some of the best families who love them, love Jesus, and want the absolute best for them and their education.